Recent Fire Damage Posts

Smart Candle Alternatives for your Winter Garden Home

7/2/2020 (Permalink)

If you love the ambiance of candles but want to avoid a potential candle fire, there are some great candle alternatives available. Flameless candles can add a warm atmosphere to any room in your home.

Choices for Ambient Lighting

If you are looking for ambient lighting, battery-powered candles are a great choice. Many of the options look so authentic, you'd never know they weren't the real deal. Some come with a flickering "flame" and a remote control which turns them on and off. You can find models that are shaped to look like the wax has melted, and some are even made with non-toxic wax.
If you are looking to create warmth in a room, battery-operated candles aren’t the only option.

Grab some clean wine bottles and fill them with strings of battery-operated LED lights. Different colored bottles can add to the atmosphere. You can also choose lights in a variety of colors, depending on your mood or the season.
Fairy lights are fun and festive but don't use them just around the holidays. String them around your potted plants, or place them in painted jelly jars.

Scented Options
When you can’t do without the fragrance that scented candles provide, you can find a wide variety of candle alternatives. In addition to scented flameless candles, there are other safe ways to add a pleasant aroma to your home in Winter Garden, FL.
Oil warmer - This device is designed to heat fragrant oils and circulate the pleasing scent into the air.
Wax warmer - Fragrant wax is placed onto an electric or battery-powered dish that warms the wax and disperses the aroma.
Stick diffuser - Pour scented oil into the special bottle that is filled with reeds or sticks. The fragrant oil seeps up the stick and out into the air.

To avoid the need for a fire damage assessment, try some of these candle alternatives when you want to add that special ambiance to your home.

Examples of Fires That Your Insurance Will Not Cover

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen fire damage in Windermere, FL Kitchen fire damage in Windermere, FL

From a young age, you're told that fire can be dangerous. Parents and teachers urge you to not play with matches or do anything else that could start a fire in your house. Still, despite your best efforts, these incidents can occur. While your first thoughts will be about the safety of your loved ones, you'll also worry about the condition of your property and possessions. Fortunately, your homeowner's insurance should cover a home fire in most cases. You should be aware of the times when your claim would be denied.

When You Can Get Coverage

Your homeowner's insurance should give you the financial help you need following a home fire in Orlando, FL. Your policy can cover losses to your dwelling and possessions you lost in the fire. Your policy may even cover any expenses you had while staying somewhere else temporarily. Insurance will cover fires started by the following causes:

  • A vandal who intentionally started the fire in your home.
  • A fire that you started by accident.
  • A fire that started due to faulty equipment such as wiring or appliances.

Insurance Fraud
Some people make the catastrophic mistakes of resorting to arson to get the insurance company to pay a settlement. Anytime arson is suspected in a fire, the insurance company will investigate before professional fire restoration crews arrive to clean up. Homeowners guilty of this are subject to criminal punishment and will have their claim denied.

Empty House
If you own a vacant home, the insurance company will not pay for damages it suffered in a fire. A vacant home fire does not fall under a homeowner's insurance policy, so you will be left with the repair and restoration bills unless you buy supplemental coverage on the property.
Understanding how your homeowner's insurance policy works is critical. If you have a home fire, you need to know when your policy would go into effect and when it would not.

What You Should Or Should Not Do After Fire Damage Affects Your Windermere Home

6/2/2020 (Permalink)

Trust SERVPRO for Fire Damage Repair and Restoration Trust SERVPRO for your Orlando Fire Damage Repair and Restoration needs

Rely on Professional Fire Damage Restoration from SERVPRO

You had to watch as a fire broke out in your home; you were able to get everyone to safety and contact the authorities but felt helpless as you stood there, watching. Doing a little research on your own led you to give us a call. But now you do not want to wait.

Learning what you should or should not do after a fire damage incident on your Windermere property is important. While you are waiting for an expertly trained professional to arrive, there are many ways you can help, just keep in mind that you should avoid doing too much. Some items on this list are for Do-It-Your-Selfers; we highly recommend that you call us first.

Make sure to focus your attention on safety, eliminate any possible electrical or gas hazards by shutting the services off to your house. ONLY if safe. No one knows your home better than you do; you should be able to locate slip and fall hazards before anyone else.

Do not attempt any activities that are unsafe for you to perform on your own. Remember, some of these materials can weigh a lot due to water exposure, so be careful. There is no reason to move the big items out on your own; SERVPRO technicians are on the way.

You can limit traffic to prevent soot particles from being embedded into your upholstery and carpeting, by placing clean towels or old linens on any rugs, upholstery or carpeting found in high traffic areas. Keep your hands clean to avoid transferring different soils to clean upholstery, walls, or woodwork.

If you were able to turn off your electricity properly, you can empty your freezer and refrigerator and prop the doors open for cleaning. If the fire damage is relatively minor, leave the fridge closed for us to come and inspect. You can also help SERVPRO technicians by removing any small loose items found throughout your home, such as house plants, desk lamps, and other small appliances to a safe, dry location carefully.

Placing double layers of cheesecloth over all of your air registers and changing your HVAC filter helps. But, avoid turning on your ventilation system, you'll just end up causing additional cleaning that wasn't otherwise necessary, so letting us do the work is preferable.

Avoid washing walls or painted surfaces, or shampooing your carpet and other upholstery items without contacting us. Do not clean any electrical appliances directly affected by fire, heat, or water; SERVPRO has specialty restoration services for those items, to avoid accidental secondary damage.

You should also avoid using any canned or packaged food or beverages stored near the source of the fire, heat, or exposed to water. Also, never send any clothing or other garments to an ordinary dry cleaner after a fire, as improper cleaning used on affected items may cause smoke odors to set permanently.

For more advice, and fire damage restoration service, on what you should or should not do after a fire, contact SERVPRO of West Orange today. (404) 261-2925

Why should you choose us for your Orlando home fire damage.

5/28/2020 (Permalink)

Soot from kitchen fire. Soot from kitchen fire.

With responsive and precise fire damage repair, even the worst disasters can be put in the past. Roaring flames have been one of man’s greatest enemies since the dawn of history, and though it is easier to handle these days, it can still cause havoc if it gets out of control. Not only can the flames cause enormous damage, the ash, soot, and smoke residue that remains will make the home almost noxious to live in. Both can create irritating odors, discolor walls or ceilings, and cause breathing issues if there is a high concentration of ash left over.

Professional fire damage repair will remove the ash and smoke residue left behind. This must be done quickly because ash is acidic and will cause materials to deteriorate if allowed to sit for long. Restoration professionals work hard to provide a thorough cleanup.  This will include treatment of every surface that is affected by ash and soot. This includes cleaning down walls, ceilings, furniture, and countertops. Ash and smoke will almost always be present in the vents and ducts as well, as they are quickly taken up by the HVAC system. Professionals will access the home’s ducts to clean them out as well, preventing either from entering the home once again.

Upon eliminating all the ash, soot, and smoke, the home will quickly be free of any lingering odor.

Central Florida Fire Damage Restoration: What are the steps involved?

4/10/2020 (Permalink)

The hours, days and weeks following a fire in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by your soot-covered and flame-damaged possessions, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out, thanks to proper disaster planning and preparation, everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

  • Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces
  • Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris
  • Do not use food items or canned goods exposed to heat
  • Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources, and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery. We hope that you never have to deal with any of this, but if you do, know that our team here at SERVPRO of West Orange will be there to help you through it.

We Put The Flames Of Worry Out In Orlando After A Fire Disaster

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

We have the training, state-of-the-art equipment, and expertise to handle any size disaster so give us a call right away.

Competence Plus Compassion Needed after Orlando Fire Damage

Few life experiences are as devastating as fire for Orlando homeowners. Fear of injury or worse is understandable as you flee your dwelling. When your loved ones get to safety relief turns to worry about how to return your home to the safe and comforting refuge you and your family created over the years. Our Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)-trained team of managers and technicians stand ready to help with recovery.

Mitigation and remediation of fire damage in your Orlando residence is a job for professionals. We have both the experienced workforce and state-of-the-art equipment to respond efficiently and safely in the aftermath of a household fire. In addition, everyone on our team, from the office staff to the crew members in the field, realize how difficult your journey back to the home you built and treasure can be. Rely on our compassion and support at this challenging time, and trust that our confidence and competence as a premier restoration company can make it “Like it never even happened.”

Expect a thorough assessment followed by a detailed plan and its rapid implementation when SERVPRO arrives. Our service vehicles are stocked with a broad array of equipment, tools, and products to make the mitigation of harmful processes and remediation of damage already done straightforward. Each project is different, but we adapt, always utilizing restoration industry best practices.

Our technicians hold multiple certifications from the IICRC, permitting the work to flow unimpeded from task to task. Firefighting water removal is often the first step, followed by deep cleaning of soot soiled surfaces. We might move items to our production facility to better evaluate and manage their restoration. Clearing the space makes it easier for our site crew to move through your fire-damaged home, cleaning and determining if charred components need remediation, repair, or replacement. SERVPRO invests in advanced technologies like air scrubbers to filter airborne debris and deodorization options that neutralize odor-bearing particles at the molecular level.

Count on SERVPRO of West Orange to support you every step of the way. Call us at (407) 352-1569 immediately after the firefighters leave to start on the road to complete recovery from residential fire damage.

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Orlando Homeowners Take Comfort in the SERVPRO Approach to Fire Loss Recovery

6/26/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Has No Match for Fire Damage Restoration in Orlando!

Starting the Fire Damage Restoration Process in Your Orlando Area Home

After you make the call for help and a fire & smoke restoration technician (FSRT) arrives at your Orlando area home, we take the time to address specific points. We cover pertinent topics, explain your situation in as much detail as possible, and address any concerns you may have from the start.

During our initial visit, a project manager or a crew chief takes control of the restoration service for the fire damage restoration to your Orlando property. They have you sign an Authorization to Perform Services form (#28000), verify insurance coverage, collect any deductible due, and make contact with your insurance adjuster. We try to expedite the service, as stress-free as possible and remain within schedules and budgets.

SERVPRO technicians address issues concerning the protection and restoration of your structure and any contents within. We also explain our restoration process in detail, so that you understand what is happening in your home, every step of the way. Our goal is to keep you informed, providing you with all of the information you need to make informed decisions about your home's restoration. Our goal is to ensure your 100% satisfaction with the final result.

A member of our SERVPRO team can also explain the difference between pre-existing or preloss conditions, and how they differ from smoke residues caused by the fire. While our services may revitalize various items affected by the fire, we cannot perform miracles. Items are often returned to a quality preloss condition, meaning that any damage that existed before the fire may still remain or hopefully be improved, after performing our service. "Like it never even happened."

You have total control over where our SERVPRO team goes, what we interact with, in your home, and the services performed to restore your property. We note any areas you wish for us to avoid, making a list of any valuables, jewelry, or heirlooms. The lead technicians should also ask that you remove any firearms or ammunition and listed valuables from the work area to ensure their safety.

We maintain a safe, secure working environment, provide safety data sheets upon request, and address any safety concerns you may have. Once everyone is clear about the direction you wish to take, we provide you with an estimated completion date and move forward with your home’s fire damage restoration services, immediately.

Contact SERVPRO of West Orange for cleaning and restoration services throughout Ocoee, Gotha, Bay Hill, and surrounding areas. We have qualified professionals available 24/7, for your convenience and look forward to serving the members of our local community.

Here is Orlando

Are Effects of Your Orlando House Fire Lingering?

5/28/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of West Orange to completely remove fire damage from your Orlando home.

Eliminating Fire Damage Effects In Orlando

Restoring Orlando homes after a fire is an intensive process. The effects can last for weeks and even months unless the cleanup service begins an immediate, and aggressive response once it is safe to enter the structure.  

For fire damage to Orlando homes, odors are often the most challenging issue when it comes to restoration. SERVPRO restoration teams perform a series of deodorizing actions designed to preserve as much personal property as possible and clean the interior of the home while also disposing of anything too physically damaged for repair.  

Removal is our first action. It immediately results in eliminating the source of many malodors, allowing team members to determine what remaining property is affected so they can better direct time and resources. Depending on the extent of the physical damage, removal may include demolition of interior walls, wall framing, ceilings, and wood floors.  

Cleaning surfaces is the next step for SERVPRO technicians. Odors remaining in the home after removal are from particles left behind by the smoke. Even in a small fire, smoke can travel through an entire home, leaving residue everywhere. Cleaning them usually involves wiping down surfaces with a deodorizing cleaning agent and a sponge. For thick smoke residues left behind by kitchen fires, team members use a scrub brush or other agitation device to break them up for easier cleaning.  

Where cleaning does not eliminate the odors, the next step is to recreate how they affected the property in the first place. If residues were able to penetrate the surfaces of walls, countertops, and other items, team members use a fogging device and a deodorizing agent to create a cloud of particles that can go as deep as the original odor. The agent reacts with the residue particles, neutralizing them, and eliminating the odor.  

A final step, rarely used, is sealing exposed surfaces. An example includes the walls in areas like garages. If the odors are mild, and removal is not cost-effective, technicians cover the walls with a paint that contains an additional sealant chemical that forms a barrier against malodors.  

The final goal at SERVPRO of West Orange is to return each home to its clean, odor-free condition before the fire. If you have had a recent fire, or still have lingering odors from a previous incident, call us today at (407) 352-1569 to set up an inspection or service call.

Read more about Orlando here.

Why SERVPRO Is The Leader In Orlando Mitigation

4/10/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can help you recover as quickly as possible. We are here to help 24/7 so don't hesitate and call us right away.

Contents Restoration after Fire damage in Orlando

A fire in the home is more often than not contained relatively easily causing minor damage to the structure itself. However, the restoration of your contents can seem an arduous task, especially since different types of smoke damages require different cleaning methods to be effective. We use a range of proprietary methods to help restore rather than replace your contents after the initial impact of fire has been handled.

One of the critical aspects of our service is helping the community restore contents after fire damage in Orlando. Remediating is not only more cost-effective; it can also help homeowners who do not want to replace possessions they may have spent years accumulating. SERVPRO technicians are dedicated to getting your home, and its contents, back to preloss conditions without resorting to expensive replacements.

The types of material that burn in a fire have a significant influence on the damages caused as well as the best methods for cleaning them away. Synthetic materials, for example, burn at lower temperatures than natural ones. They also release different smoke residues, known as wet smoke, which can be spread around causing further damage if not recognized immediately.

SERVPRO technicians conduct a pre-test of all fire damaged materials first to avoid applying a one-size-fits-all method for restoration of contents. Usually, most surfaces respond well to a combination of wet, dry and 'spray & wipe' cleaning. However, this method is not comprehensively effective and may cause the dye in certain fabrics to run, shrink or for soiling to be absorbed beneath the surface.

Porous materials like upholsteries, mattresses, fabrics, and curtains can often become damp from water used during firefighting procedure. The moisture causes soots to set into the fabric, becoming stubborn and difficult to clean. SERVPRO use foam cleaning on these type of surface to help draw soiling out without soaking the material or causing it to shrink. Valuable contents like jewelry or precious metals can be sent to a facility for immersion cleaning using ultrasonic machines.

Restoring your contents is our specialty, contact SERVPRO of West Orange at (407) 352-1569 to begin getting your home back to preloss conditions.

Click here to learn more about the Greenwood Cemetery Moonlight Walking Tour.

Want to Step Up Your Orlando Fire Damage Recovery? You Need To Read This First

4/7/2019 (Permalink)

When smoke and soot damage overwhelm your home, contact team SERVPRO for effective remediation efforts. Call us right away for best results.

Life in Orlando is Magical - Do Not Let Fire Damage to Your Home Overwhelm You

Orlando is a magical place for those who visit and those who choose to live there. Ideal for those running away from cold weather, it offers the benefits of a big city without the extreme hustle and bustle of places like Los Angeles or New York. Even though homeowners need to be vigilant during hurricane season, the area is not prone to devastating natural disasters regularly. However, Mother Nature is not the only one that can leave you in need of professional home restoration services. Accidents happen every day, and you never know when you may need to reach out for help.

If your life is suddenly affected by fire damage to your Orlando home, SERVPRO is here to help. Something as simple as a kitchen fire can leave your home in disarray when you take into account the fire itself along with water damage caused by sprinklers and extinguishers. Our IICRC-certified staff is available 24/7 to take action and return your home to mint condition.

Understanding the path of the fire and smoke is crucial in formulating an action plan. Knowing the telltale signs of damage helps our SERVPRO crew determine where to put their efforts to remove any remaining water and the placement of air movers and dehumidifiers. Tools such as hygrometers help us confirm when the air quality and moisture level of your home is back to normal.

One of the most concerning issues after a fire is the smell left behind by the smoke. Our SERVPRO team applies industry best practices to remove soot and smoke residue from each surface and to eliminate the offending smell. For some jobs, it is sufficient to add deodorizing pellets, whereas for others an ozone generator helps us neutralize the smell. More often than not, we use a combination of techniques to achieve full success.

Enjoy your life in Orlando and rest assured that SERVPRO of West Orange is by your side. By simply calling (407) 352-1569 you will find a whole team devoted to leaving your home "Like it never even happened."

Click here for more information about Orlando.

How SERVPRO Handles The Most Challenging Odors After An Orlando Fire

4/4/2019 (Permalink)

Call our certified professionals to restore your home after a fire. We have the equipment to make your home livable again so you can rest easy.

Effective Fire Odor Removal for Your Orlando Property

Not all fires that can affect your Orlando home come with widespread detrimental effects that make it impossible for homeowners and their families to remain. Even with smaller scale fires that can break out, there are still potentially problematic symptoms that can linger and make comfortable living a challenge for families. Odors can be a significant hurdle to overcome after a fire, and our professionals can help with effective tools and containment strategies to help you breathe easier.

While many effects often come with small scale fire damage in your Orlando home, odors are often the most challenging to overcome because they tend to spread the farthest from the initial combustion site. Our SERVPRO professionals have effective containment strategies to help limit the spread of these noxious scents throughout the property, and we also have advanced deodorization tools to make short work of foul odor molecules.

With the arrival of our team members to your address, we can assess the spread of foul odors throughout the property to gain the parameters for our containment strategies. With the use of physical plastic sheeting barriers and our advanced tools like the hydroxyl generator, we can begin to reduce the presence of harsh odors quickly. One hydroxyl generator can treat an area of several thousand cubic feet, helping us to make a difference in an affected area by fire damage fast.

For more direct deodorization of affected areas, we can utilize equipment like our thermal fogger. This machine releases a dense chemical compound that is odorless. When this chemical comes into contact with harsh odor molecules, it breaks the molecule apart and neutralizes the smell. This approach is safe to use on soft materials like furniture, clothing, and carpeting.

Odor removal can be an intricate process, especially in circumstances where tear out and reconstruction is not necessary. You can always depend on our SERVPRO of West Orange rapid response team to arrive quickly with the personnel and equipment to get rid of lingering odors fast. Give us a call anytime you need us at (407) 352-1569.

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You Just Experienced A Fire... Now What?

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

A fire can be devastating, but we are here to help 24/7 365.

A fire in your home or office can be one of the  most overwhelming experiences of your life.  You find yourself standing in the middle of a room or building staring at the cared remains of your personal or professional life.  You have no idea what to do next.

Start by taking a deep breath and relaxing for a minute.  The fire is over and you can't undo the past.  All you can do now is get things back to normal.  Despite how bad things may look, it really is not as bad as it seems.

For starters, and most important, you are OK.  What you are looking at is property, which for the most part can be replaced or restored.  That's not so easy with people.

So, what do you do about the items that were damaged?  Start by calling your insurance company.  Let them know what happened and start the claims process.  

Your next call should be to your local SERVPRO.  Our team has unsurpassed expertise in handling fire/smoke damage and restoration. Whatever needs to happen, our team will handle it.  We can board up your property (if needed) and start the process of working with your insurance company to create a recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your property.

There are also a few things you should not do:

· Do not wipe or attempt to clean anything.  This will be hard, but you need to leave this to the professionals to prevent further damage

· Do not walk around the property or sit on any furniture that was damaged.

· Do not eat any food or canned goods exposed to heat.

· Do use any medications that were exposed to heat

· Do not turn on any electrical appliances.

While this may all sound a bit overwhelming, everything will be fine. Our team of professionals will work with you and your insurance company to get your life back to normal as quickly as possible.

Smoke Damage? SERVPRO Can Help!

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Have a smoke or fire issue? Let SERVPRO get it resolved quickly and easily so you can get back to your life!

While a fire causes damage that is easy to see, smoke damage is a lot less obvious.  As a fire burns smoke and soot are spread through the entire property, especially is the heating or air conditioning system happens to be running at the time of the fire.

Have you ever removed a t-shirt that seemed to be fine while you were wearing it, but it had a very bad smell once you removed it?  Well, the same thing happens with soot and smoke from a fire.

Curtains, rugs, furniture, clothing and lots of other items are going to quickly absorb the odors from the fire.  You may not notice it once you have spent sometime inside the area affected by the fire.  Everyone, else however, will experience these odors, likely very strong odors, as soon as they enter the property.

The experts at SERVPRO can eliminate these odors and get your home or office odor-free after a fire.  We have the equipment and expertise to handle everything that needs to be done.

We also work with you and your insurance company to get your fire and smoke claim resolved quickly and easily so you can get back to your life.  We will be with you through every step of the process from start to finish.

If you are the unfortunate victim of a fire or smoke issue call SERVPRO anytime - 24/7 365!

Fire and Smoke Restoration

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

The fire trucks may be gone but without proper immediate response, the real damage and the costs are just beginning. To return your residential or commercial property to its normal condition requires professional restoration. This is not the job for a do-it-yourself type of person.

For results you can have confidence in, hiring a certified restoration company would be your best bet. Restoration to a property can be complex. Proper smoke and odor removal are tasks that require technicians certified in these specific areas.

When selecting a certified restoration firm several factors must be considered:

  • Formal and up-to-date specialized training
  • Health and safety certifications
  • Experience in a wide range of restoration projects
  • Proof of proper insurance and licenses

In addition to removing residue, ridding your home of its smoky odor is necessary. Professionals use this four-step process to remove odors:

  • Remove the source of the odor, as possible, including unsalvageable debris that contributes to odor generation and recontamination of cleaned and deodorized areas.
  • Clean salvageable surfaces and items to physically remove odor-causing residue.
  • Chase remaining odor with an odor counteract act. In the case of smoke, create a deodorizing fog or gas that seeks out and combines with odor-causing substances.
  • Seal salvageable surfaces that are inaccessible or slightly scorched, not only for aesthetic purposes, but primarily to encapsulate odor and prevent progressive recontamination.

Understanding the effects of a fire can help homeowners evaluate the damage to their home. By learning more about residue clean-up and deodorization after a fire, you can minimize the need for costly repair. Fire and smoke restoration experts can help you return your home and furnishings to its normal condition. So I guess you could say it would be “Like it never even happened.”

Keeping Your Home Safe From Fire During The Holidays

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

The holiday season is upon us and the streets and houses are covered in color. As you drive around you can see homes and businesses strung with lights, wreathes hanging on doors and trees lit up in windows. If you decide to pick out a real tree this year, remember to keep some safety tips in mind. The American Red Cross lists these important facts and tips on their web site at www.redcross.org.

HOLIDAY HOME FIRES

Fast Facts

• Nearly 47,000 fires occur during the winter holidays claiming more than 500 lives, causing more than 2,200 injuries, and costing $554 million in property damage.**

• On average, one of every 22 home fires started by Christmas trees result in death.***

• Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays.**

• During the winter holiday season, an average of 40 home fires per day are caused by children playing.**

• The number of home fires the American Red Cross has responded to has risen 10% since 2000.*

• Having a working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half.**

Preparedness Tips:

Place Christmas trees, candles, and other holiday decorations at least three feet away from heat sources like fireplaces, portable heaters, radiators, heat vents and candles.

Purchase flame retardant metallic or artificial trees. If you purchase a real tree, make sure that it has fresh, green needles that aren’t easily broken. Keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water.

Make sure that light strings and other holiday decorations are in good condition. Do not use anything with frayed electrical cords and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Always unplug tree and holiday lights before leaving home or going to bed.

Never use lit candles to decorate a tree. Always extinguish candles before leaving the room or going to bed.

Use only sturdy tree stands designed not to tip over. Keep curious pets and children away from Christmas trees.

Keep anything that can catch on fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from your stove top.

Designate one person to walk around your home to make sure that all candles and smoking materials are properly extinguished after guests leave.

Smoke alarms save lives. Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms if you sleep with doors closed. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on how to keep your home fire safe during the holidays. Sources: American Red Cross,* U.S. Fire Administration,** and the National Fire Protection Association.*** 

We hope that everyone has a safe holiday season. If you have any fire or water damage issues please feel free to call us anytime, day or night. 

Have Smoke Odor? You Need An Ozone Generator!

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Contributed By Marty Hoffman, Operations Manager

Ozone treatments are one of the best tools for removing odor caused by smoke damage. One question we get asked frequently is whether ozone treatments are bad for furniture and other possessions. I hope that this blog answers that question.

What is an ozone generator?

An ozone generator is a machine that generates the molecule ozone (O3), a highly reactive molecule that reacts chemically with the particles it comes into contact with. Professional restoration companies and some drycleaners use industrial ozone generators to remove the smoke odor from furniture, clothes and other belongings after a fire.

How does it work?

Ozone works to remove odors by chemically changing the structure of the molecules in the smoke that are creating the smell. The extra oxygen atom attaches itself to the other molecules to create a new molecule that is non-offensive—and non-smelly—in a process called oxidation. As a gas, ozone can clean anywhere air is allowed to flow. That’s one of the features that makes it so effective in removing odors that other cleaning techniques just can’t touch.

The more smoke damage has been done, the more ozone is needed to eliminate the smell. There need to be enough ozone molecules to react with all of the offending molecules in order for the treatment to be successful.

So, is it bad for my stuff?

Ozone is the most effective way to remove odor caused by smoke damage. Professional restoration contractors can control the temperature, humidity, and treatment time carefully for maximum positive effects. In short—no, ozone is not bad for your belongings, as long as it is being controlled by a professional. The reason this is important is because professional restorers know and understand the power of ozone. They also know that there are certain materials that don’t do well when exposed to ozone—namely certain textiles, leather, rubber, and certain plastics.

Many people think that they can clean their clothes after a fire by washing them multiple times. But this will not remove the smoke odor. Ozone is also cleaner than other methods because it does not leave any byproducts or residue that need to be cleaned later.

As a form of oxygen, ozone itself is not dangerous. However, if overexposure occurs it can be harmful to lungs. This is another reason to allow a professional to perform the ozone treatment. They have the right equipment in place to protect themselves during the process, and once your items are returned to you, they are safe to be in your home.

How to be Prepared for a Fire Loss in Your Home

5/2/2018 (Permalink)

Contributed by Marty Hoffman, Operations Manager

The hours, days and weeks following a fire or water damage in your home or business can be simply overwhelming. Surrounded by possessions that are soot-covered, flame-damaged or wet, it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture: As long as everyone got out safely everything else is just stuff. But once the smoke clears or the water recedes, you will need to deal with that stuff, and the sooner the better. It does not make things any better living in the Central Florida Areas such as Orlando, Winter Garden and even Windermere. 

From the beginning make sure that you are organized, amidst the chaos of your scorched surroundings.

Take notes on every conversation and online correspondence with your insurance company and restoration professionals, because in any stressful situation, miscommunication can happen. Save all receipts and original documents; only give photocopies upon request.

Your first call should be to your insurance agent/carrier. Not only is it required that you file your claim as soon as possible, it is also in your best interest. The sooner you start the process, the sooner an insurance adjustor will arrive at your door to begin assessing damage.

A reputable cleaning and restoration team should be next on your call list like SERVPRO of West Orange. If you can find one that also specializes in professional repair services, you’ll save yourself time, money and headaches. Depending upon the extent of damage, your property will may first need to be secured (boarded up, for example), and a high quality restoration team with carpentry skills can perform that service for you.

Your restoration team should work with your insurance company to initiate a fire damage recovery plan that includes the complete restoration of your structure. Again, if your team is truly “full service,” the construction side will assess the structural damages while the cleaning and restoration specialists will work closely with you and your adjustor to determine which of your possessions can be cleaned…and which need to be inventoried for replacement. Often these services can be provided on site, but in the event that your contents have to be removed, make sure your team also offers the capability to electronically inventory, package, transport and store your belongings in a safe, climate controlled facility.

Now that you know the initial steps of the fire damage recovery process, here are a few tips on what NOT to do before the pros arrive:

·         Do not wipe or attempt to wash fire residue from walls, ceilings, or other absorbent surfaces

·         Do not use carpeting or upholstered furniture impacted by heavy smoke residues or debris

·         Do not use food items, canned goods or medications exposed to heat

·         Do not turn on computers, televisions, stereos or electrical appliances until they have been professionally cleaned and checked

With preparation, resources and trusted professionals in place—plus a healthy dose of patience and perspective, after the fact—you and your family or co-workers will make it through the process of fire damage recovery.

Why You Need A Professional For Smoke Remediation After A Fire

3/25/2018 (Permalink)

It can be confusing trying to deal with the damages from a fire at your home or business. The IICRC has provided the following helpful information on handling this. Due to the intricate measures needed to properly clean up after a fire loss, having a trained team of professionals will help alleviate some of the stress. Give us a call and we will send someone out to help.

When the firefighters leave, it may seem like the danger has passed and the home is safe from further destruction, but without professionals to help clean the smoke damage, the building will never return to normal. While the principles behind fire restoration are fairly simple, it requires a lot of experience and manpower to perform adequately, and this means that it shouldn’t be attempted by a homeowner on his or her own.

While fire is always the immediate danger, once it is gone, what it leaves behind will continue to affect the house
. Ash and smoke, if left unhindered, will cause extensive corrosion, etching and discoloration, not to mention lingering powerful odors. Professionals that clean fire and smoke damage can stop this before it becomes a major problem, assuming they are contacted soon enough. There are many companies out there that advertise their ability to restore areas affected by fire, but only those with proper training and certification should be considered. The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) is the main oversight agency in this industry. The IICRC requires its registrants to take extensive coursework before earning their certification. This is a symbol of excellence, and those that uphold the standards that have been set can be contacted through the IICRC.

These professionals can clean smoke damage and restore items affected by a fire, but they must be brought to the site as soon as possible to halt the ongoing issues that ash residue can cause. The first thing that ash does to the home is discolor most surfaces. Anything that is made of plastic or was close to the fire will start discoloring within minutes, and within several hours, fiberglass and finishes on appliances will begin to yellow. Metals may also tarnish. After a few days pass, the ash will cause walls to discolor permanently, along with clothing and upholstery. Wood and vinyl will need to be refinished or replaced, and metal will start corroding.

If a professional isn’t hired to clean smoke and fire damage, the costs for restoration will skyrocket after a few weeks
. Metals may need to be replaced, carpet will permanently discolor and glass may be severely etched, which will necessitate replacement. It will also become apparent that the odors caused by the disaster may still be present and intense enough to be distracting. Because ash is acidic, the longer it takes to hire experts, the more destruction it will cause.

The first thing a trained, certified, professional company will do when on site is to identify all affected materials and the source of any odors. The only way to properly clean smoke and fire damage is to be extremely thorough. Ash residue is easily disturbed and can spread through the building with ease, causing nearly everything to need restoration. The experts will identify what can and cannot be salvaged, and will remove any built-up ash residue that is coating surfaces. Over time, ash builds up in layers, and may eventually form into a lacquer-like consistency. Once this is done, the restorers will locate the source of the odor, and treat it with specialized detergents that are formulated for neutralizing this kind of odor. Once materials are treated, they may be sealed off to prevent any further odor from permeating the air in the future.

This entire process is very detailed, and hiring a professional that can be trusted to do the job right is imperative
.

Red Cross and SERVPRO working together to serve the Central Florida Community

1/27/2017 (Permalink)

The fire fighters have just walked out of your home. It's past midnight. Your family is safe. You followed the two minute evacuation plan. But, as you look onto where you and your family once slept, played, ate and lived, now you see a soot covered, smoldering structure that will need serious repair. What do you do now? Who do you call to help you get your home back to normal? And then, when you do call someone, what happens next? Where will you and your family go? It's usually right about this time that an American Red Cross representative that the fire fighters contacted for you puts a blanket over your shoulders and tells you, It'll be okay, we are here for you. If you have never had this happen to you consider yourself lucky. If you have, you know what I'm about to talk about here.

For those that haven't and have never given to the Red Cross or thought to have helped out in some way let me tell you a little about them. May 21s 1881 Clara Barton started what is now the American Red Cross. It was modeled after the Swiss version of The Red Cross. It was bread out of the Civil War. After World War 2 they started the first civilian blood donation outfit.

Today they provide these services:

  • People affected by disasters in America
  • Support for members of the military and their families
  • Blood collection, processing and distribution
  • Health and safety education and training
  • International relief and development

 

And they do it all by donation and volunteer work.

 

https://www.redcross.org/donate/modf